Shumpert Receives Gatorade Honor

Itawamba Agricultural High School senior running back Ashton Shumpert was received the Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year award Friday night at halftime of the Itawamba Agricultural High School (IAHS) girls' basketball game.

The four-star Mississippi State commitment had a dominant senior year, recording 1,787 yards and 25 touchdowns on 151 carries for the Indians.

Shumpert is also the first recipient of the award to come from IAHS.

As usual, Ashton Shumpert received the award with class and humility.

"I'm very honored of course," he said. "When you put in the hard work, you don't think about the awards until you get them. The hard work pays off."

Shumpert is the fourth of the last five recipients of the Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year award to commit to the Bulldogs. Charles Mitchell, Tyler Russell, and Dylan Favre were all given the honor.

Ashton feels like that is a positive sign of Mississippi State and the direction of their program.

"It says that they've got some really good players that are willing to represent their state," said Shumpert.

Shumpert also gave some insight on his pledge to Dan Mullen and the Bulldogs.

"When I first started thinking about playing college football, that was one of the first games I went to. I enjoyed it a lot," said Shumpert. "They've stuck with me throughout the process, and what really made me commit was Coach Knox and their coaching staff. I still had that feeling that I had with them on the first game I went to."

Obviously, Mississippi State felt that the bruising back from Itawamba was a top priority, and they treated him as such.

Ashton Shumpert is already geared up and excited to join the Bulldog family in Starkville.

"When I talked to Coach Mullen he always talked about hard work (and) I'm a guy who is willing to be pushed," said Shumpert.

However, he knows, like many other Bulldog commits, that the road ahead is a tough one.

"First of all I want to make it through spring days, make it through the hard stuff and keep getting better," Shumpert stated.

One noticeable characteristic of the Gatorade Player of the Year is his love for the game and his desire to work.

"I've never really set specific goals in sports; I just play hard and work hard."

Plain and simple, Ashton Shumpert just loves to play ball.

Carew Ferguson is a feature writer for the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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